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OH158 Joe Wilkins Oral History

Joe Wilkins Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Black Veterans – World War II and Korean War

Series Number: OH158

Interviewee: Wilkins, Joe, 1920-

Interviewer: Belue, Ted

Date interviewed: October 22, 1986

Processed by: Benjamin J. Drake

Date processed: November 18, 2011

Description: 2 sound discs (70 minutes)

Abstract: Joe Wilkins recounts his experiences as an African American soldier during the Second World War and Korean War. He describes his training prior to United States entry in the war. He provides an account of events in North Africa and Italy and his participation in those campaigns. He discusses his civilian occupations and life between the Second World War and the Korean War. Wilkins concluded the interview by recalling his participation in the Korean War and racial issues he witnessed in the United States.

Biographical / Historical note: Joe Wilkins was born March 9, 1920 in Henry County, Tennessee. Prior to the Second World War, he worked as a night man at a hotel. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1941 and attended basic training at Camp Wheeler, Macon, Georgia and was stationed at Camp Dix, New Jersey. During the war, he was stationed in the United Kingdom, Algeria, Italy and France. He participated in both the North African and Italian Campaigns. He saw action during the Allied invasion of Italy at Salerno and the Battle of Anzio. He was discharged in September of 1945. After the war, he worked as a truck driver. Wilkins reenlisted into the United States Army in 1950 at Fort Lewis, Washington and was stationed in Korea during the Korean War. He was discharged at Fort Lewis following the war.

General information: No user access to original recordings. Use audio user copies, digital derivatives, transcripts, and/or tape indexes. This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Permission for reproduction must be requested from Murray State University.

Subject Headings / Descriptors:

Wilkins, Joe, 1920-

Camp Wheeler (Ga.)

Camp Dix (N.J.)

World War, 1939-1945 – Campaigns – Italy.

World War, 1939-1945 – Campaigns – Africa, North.

World War, 1939-1945 – Participation, African American.

World War, 1939-1945 – Personal narratives, American.

Anzio Beachhead, 1944.

Salerno, Battle of, Salerno, Italy, 1945.

Korean War, 1950-1953 – Personal narratives, American.

Korean War, 1950-1953 – Participation, African American.